How exactly does Construction Application for Payment Solution (CAPS) work? Does it write information back to QuickBooks®? Is my QuickBooks® data safe?
Construction Application for Payment Solution (CAPS) has to work in a logical manner due to some limitations within the Intuit QuickBooks® Software Development Kit (SDK).
QuickBooks® provides the backbone for the information that appears on your final AIA Billings. Because of this, the entire process starts with your original Bid or Estimate for the job; you enter those line items with their original values, one in the QuickBooks® Estimate form, and those items remain unchanged during the duration of the job. Meaning that 3 months into the contract, you do not go back and change an amount, a description, or move line items around. Such an action will only confuse CAPS and cause you problems.
In the natural course of any construction project, there are times when Change Orders or Extra Work Orders can increase or decrease the original contract; and in a logical fashion, those changes should be added to the bottom of the Estimate - after or below the line items that represent the original contract. You should not go back into the Estimate and just increase or decrease the dollar amount for line item X, as it throws off the entire history of the job.
The line item descriptions and dollar amounts from your QuickBooks® Estimate ARE your line item descriptions and scheduled value on the AIA G703 Continuation Sheet.
Each month when you are ready to do your billing, you will return to your QuickBooks® Estimate and create a Progress Invoice indicating the amounts you are billing for, using either percentages or actual dollar amounts of each line item. Once the Progress Invoice has been created, do not add line items other than a Subtotal and an item deducting retainage (if you choose to force QuickBooks® to track your retainage).
The dollar amounts from the Progress Invoice update, not only your Accounts Receivable, but also become the amounts reported in the Work Complete this period on the AIA G-703 Continuation Sheet.
CAPS, through the use of the SDK, is only able to utilize the line item descriptions and dollar amounts from both the Estimate and the Progress Invoice, and completes all other mathematical calculations that are required on the AIA G-703 Continuation Sheet. Unfortunately, CAPS cannot work off similar columns on the Progress Invoice because the SDK does not allow access to those columns, and you cannot even generate a report in QuickBooks® which shows the information on the Progress Invoice.
CAPS does not write any information back to QuickBooks®. Instead, it accesses your QuickBooks® file on a "read-only" basis and utilizes the information you have already entered, which eliminates the duplicate data entry and data manipulation caused by using other software programs or billing methods.
Because CAPS accesses your QuickBooks® file on a read-only basis and does not write any information back; your QuickBooks® data is totally safe and protected.
How does Construction Application for Payment Solution Work?
Watch a 10 minute video on how Construction Application for Payment Solution interfaces with QuickBooks by clicking on the image to the left. It should address most of the questions that you might have.